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Special Session 2016

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, June 14, 2016

About the Author


Joseph N. Molina III
Legislative Services Director

KansasBarLeg

Last week Governor Brownback signed a proclamation calling for a Special Legislative Session to resolve the school finance equity issue. The Special Session will open on June 23 at 10 a.m.

See http://abcn.ws/1VMWVBy; See also http://bit.ly/1PJQ4Yh and http://bit.ly/28wYOHH

The KBA urges members of the joint committee to uphold the separation of powers and allow each branch of government to exercise their responsibilities accordingly.

As legislators work to craft a solution, a joint meeting of the House and Senate Judiciary committees will consider ways to address the Kansas Supreme Court’s proposed remedy of closing schools should the legislature fail to reach a constitutional solution. Sen. Jeff King (R-Independence) and Rep. John Barker (R-Abilene) have called the joint meeting. See http://apne.ws/1XRQNde and http://bit.ly/1ZJuK5A.

The joint meeting will begin on Thursday, June 16 and extend until Friday, June 17. The agenda calls for a school finance lawsuit update, committee discussion on the supreme court ruling and public comments.

Here is a link to members of the joint meeting

In a statement made on June 10, 2016, Sen. King argues that nothing done by the Kansas Legislature is as hard or as important as school finance. Sen. King argues that the Kansas Supreme Court wants to close schools over 1 percent of school funding. Sen. King’s goal is to draft and pass a constitutional amendment banning all branches of government from closing K-12 schools. Read full statement here: http://bit.ly/1tlZQpr

While the exact wording of the proposal is not available, the Kansas Bar Association is concerned that the concept of limiting the court’s authority in this manner is unconstitutional. To constrain the court’s authority to set appropriate remedies is a violation of the separation of powers doctrine.  As Kansas children learn in grade school, our government is based on three co-equal branches of government. The legislative branch makes the laws, the executive branch enforces those laws and the judicial branch interprets those laws. It is important to allow all branches of government the power to execute their constitutional duties as outlined. To impose a limitation on a co-equal branch of government places the process in question. The KBA urges members of the joint committee to uphold the separation of powers and allow each branch of government to exercise their responsibilities accordingly.

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